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Thinkpad T42p suddenly shuts down

Discussion in 'IBM Thinkpad' started by davec, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. davec

    davec Guest


    I have just replaced the fan on my T42p, but now it shuts down (powe
    off - black screen) after a short time every time I start up.
    Typically this is about 20 seconds after start up, but has been known t
    hang on for up to 3 minutes :( almost loading windows xp. Ver
    frustrating! Any ideas?
    davec, Oct 31, 2011
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  2. davec

    Bert Guest

    In davec
    Is the fan still working and the airway clear?
    Bert, Nov 1, 2011
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  3. I assume you cleaned the old thermal compound off the CPU and replaced it
    with some new. Very important, if you didn't. I'm thinking that the CPU is
    going into thermal shutdown.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 1, 2011
  4. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    No, not without more information. Guessing knowing that little info would be
    a waste of my time.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Nov 2, 2011
  5. davec

    davec Guest

    Thanks for getting back to me. I simply replaced the fan (which is no
    working). Didn't do anything to CPU regarding thermal compound... ca
    you describe what I should do and/or point me to a helpful link
    davec, Nov 3, 2011
  6. After I posted what I did, it dawned on me that I didn't know whether you'd
    replaced the fan only, or the fan and the heatsink it's attached to. If the
    latter, then you should've removed the thermal compound from the CPU and the
    heatsink. If IBM/Lenovo used thermal pads instead, though, those are
    tougher to remove. I can't point you to any links, but if you Google "CPU
    Fan", you're likely to run into the fan and heatsink issue. If the fan is
    *now* working, though, no sense in doing anything. If that was a typo (one
    that I make frequently) and you meant that it is *not* working, then the fan
    might've arrived at your location DOA, in which case it's a matter for the
    vendor. Good luck!
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 5, 2011
  7. davec

    davec Guest

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the post. I believe I replaced the fan and heatsink as i
    came in a single unit (IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T42p) and as far as I ca
    tell the fan is working well (no error on boot up, fan spinning). Ther
    was thermal paste on the top and a pad on the bottom. I removed th
    plastic cover from the paste on the top - are you saying I should als
    remove the thermal pad? Sorry if I'm being stupid!

    davec, Nov 7, 2011
  8. It depends on what you mean by "top" and "bottom". Are you talking about
    the CPU itself? There should be nothing between the CPU and the heatsink
    but thermal paste, and it should be a very, very thin layer. Best thing to
    do, though, would be to look for IBM's video on the subject, if there is
    such a thing, or a whitepaper. See, I don't know exactly what you got.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 9, 2011
  9. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Top" is where it contacts the CPU and removing the plastic was the right
    thing to do. "Bottom" is where it 'contacts' the GPU and there's a ~1.5mm
    thick thermal transfer pad there as unfortunately the top of the CPU and the
    top of the GPU aren't in the same plane.

    Leaving the thermal pad on the bottom part was the right thing to do. It's
    not the greatest way to cool what is a rather hot-running ATI GPU (the 'p'
    in T42p stands for performance and it has an uprated GPU [and CPU] compared
    to an 'ordinary' T42).

    It sounds like you did it right Dave, just keep your eye on temps for a
    while and see that everything's working as it should be.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Nov 10, 2011
  10. Geez, I'm surprised that IBM did it that way. But, I've seen stupider
    things on desktops, like CPUs that were so wacky, putting a heatsink on them
    was like balancing an anvil on a sugar cube surrounded by candy roses, and
    if you damaged either, the CPU was no longer functional. Like AMD's 32-bit
    Athlon series. Those things were nearly impossible.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 11, 2011
  11. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Well, it's not really like IBM did anything stupid. For a paste Thermal
    Interface Material (TIM) to work there needs to be almost perfect contact
    between parallel surfaces. TIM paste is designed to work as a stop-gap (if
    you'll excuse the pun) so that, if there are parts of the two surfaces that
    aren't in perfect contact (and, with mass-produced components that's always
    the case) the paste will serve to conduct heat in those areas that don't
    squeeze it out.

    As not only aren't the two PUs in the same plane (by a couple mm at most)
    but often they're slightly angled in comparison to each other* it's common
    practice to use a TIM pad on the least critical of the two.

    [*]Fabrication plants aren't accurate enough to ensure that, when a solder
    ball-grid array solder balls melt and the GPU settles into it's place, it
    does so perfectly evenly.

    So, it's nothing that IBM did wrong, or cut corners on. A cooler that
    contacts multiple surfaces will always be such, at least for now, regardless
    of manufacturer. The other approach, say the difference between a T43 and a
    Dell D610, is with the Dell there's a discrete cooler for each PU that are
    'bolted' down seperately. This method allows TIM paste to be used on both
    and is a superior cooling solution**. The fins attached to the heatpipes are
    then set in alignment so that the fan's airflow blows through both. (I chose
    those two laptops as they are contemporary to each other, both featuring a
    Dothan CPU on a 133MHz bus and ATI X300 GPUs.)

    [**] However the GPU part of the Dell cooler also has a contact patch for
    the northbridge and, you guessed it, it uses a TIM pad rather than paste,
    due to the same limitations in mass production.

    It's a shame that IBM didn't do the same as Dell did but frankly there's not
    enough room inside a T43 case to do that. Also I wouldn't take 10 x Dell
    D610s in exchange for my T43 as the T43 is 4:3 format and has an IPS screen
    as well as the rest of the IBM-standard features. Dell just did that one
    thing better in that instance.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Nov 16, 2011
  12. So, is the TIM pad a phase-change type of thing, or does it retain the same
    consistency throughout its thermal range? I've been familiar with thermal
    paste (silicon grease being the type I'm most familiar with) from back in
    the '70s when I played with big power transistors, but the phase-change pads
    are fairly new to me. They are extremely thin, as the ideal layer of paste
    should be for the best heat transfer, but they almost turn into a bonding
    agent the first time they're used, whereas paste usually doesn't.
    (Although, I have heard that Arctic Silver does something similar.)
    I'd have thought that separate coolers would've been better, or maybe a
    lower-voltage GPU. I haven't totally disassembled my R51 (2888-GRU) to see
    how Lenovo handled the GPU's heat, but its warmest spot seems to be over the
    CPU. Of course, I'm not really going graphics crazy with it, either.
    Gotcha. I've got a Dell (Inspiron 3500), and I just naturally like the way
    the ThinkPad is put together best, partly because it's easier to take apart,
    but mostly because of the TrackPoint. :)
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 16, 2011
  13. davec

    Adrian C Guest

    This sounds like the forerunner to Artificial Respiration, aka Kiss of Life.

    Now remember, airway, breathing, circulation....

    And remember where to apply 110/230V.....

    Is there a clock?
    Adrian C, Nov 17, 2011
  14. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    It's not phase-change like the pre-applied stuff you get on new boxed CPU
    coolers (and IBM used for the CPUs), it's a re-usable pad of.. sort of soft
    rubber. It's not the greatest thermal conductor in the world but it's not
    that shabby either. In fact on a lot of ThinkPad heatsinks you'll find a
    bigger, thicker piece of it *on top of* the heatsink / heatpipe arrangement,
    there to carry heat to the metal tray of the keyboard, for passive cooling
    as in the image below:

    That model of R51 doesn't have an ATI GPU, the graphics duties are handled
    by the Intel northbridge, which is bare in some R51s but has a heatpipe and
    copper cooler in others. (I don't know why some are different, or which


    Those are the two types of fan that can be found in Intel-graphics R51s. On
    the second there's phase-change TIM for the CPU and a TIM pad for the
    Heh! Yeah, I much prefer TPs, to work on and to work with.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Nov 20, 2011
  15. That's interesting. I guess I've never seen a reusable pad before. Either
    it was the paste, or a phase-change type of pad. Reusable would have its
    advantages, but not transferring heat as well would be a distinct
    That's interesting. It is definitely Intel graphics, because Ubuntu Linux
    10.04 had a problem with the graphics, and I had to do some weird stuff in
    GRUB to force it to use one type of graphics over what it was actually
    seeing (or assuming).
    BTW, I saw a T60 that Newegg was trying to sell (and if I'd had the money,
    I'd have bought it) for less than $300. Had the 15" screen, and could take
    up to 4GB of RAM. Had a dual-core processor, but the version of WinXP Pro
    on it didn't say if it was 32-bit or 64-bit.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 20, 2011
  16. davec

    Oggy Guest

    Tom Rutherford said..

    Check out laptopcloseout.com. I have purchased several
    Thinkpads and other brands from them in the past with great results.
    Oggy, Nov 21, 2011
  17. Thanks! When I get a bit more financially healthy, I'll do that.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 22, 2011
  18. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Yep. However it *does* transfer heat and also makes allowances for variable
    gaps *and* is re-usable. Better than nowt. ;-)
    Yeah, I knew that you had an Intel graphics version rather than an ATI
    Mobility Radeon 7500 or 9000 version by looking up the model / type number
    you quoted (2888-GRU).
    IMHO the T60 is the best of the T range, period.

    Couple things, although they can physically fit 4GB of RAM and it's seen by
    the BIOS there is a chipset limitation that means that only 3GB is visible
    to the OS. (This isn't the '32-bit barrier' thing, it's hard-wired into the

    Some folks with T60s say that, by running 2 x 2GB they get the benefit of
    synchronus dual-channel mode and a ~8% better RAM performance. This wasn't a
    bad idea when DDR2 RAM was cheap-as-chips but might not make sense now. Who

    Also, TTBOMK, no T60 was ever sold with a 64-bit OS. By far the mojority
    came with 32-bit XP Pro, a lot of those with the "Windows Vista Capable"
    thing on the stick (just read that off mine <g>). A very few came with Vista
    towards the end of their run (also a few were wide-screen but we won't dwell
    on those abominations <shudder>).

    IMO there are two excellent general models of T60:

    a) 14", intel-graphics XGA display machine for the guy who mostly totes his
    machine around a lot.

    b), 15" model with ATI X1400 GPU / 128MB VRAM, a high-end C2D CPU (like this
    one, T7400, 2.13GHz Core *2* Duo [~20% faster clock-for-clock than a 'Core
    Duo' and 64-bit capable] with 4MB L2 cache) and an SXGA+ 'FlexView' IPS
    screen, more suited to the sort of guy who mostly uses it at home.

    The former, with Intel graphics, will have better battery-life and the 14"
    models are noticably more rigid (not to say that the 15" ones are flimsy
    mind you...).

    The latter has an awesome display and is very grunty but will chew through
    the battery quite quickly. I use one as my main machine and love it. Both
    are bargains at the moment (I have one of each) and, looked after, should
    last many years. They run Windows 7 very well (Intel graphics doesn't do
    'Aero' well so switch it off is best) and, at least according to Microsoft,
    Windows 8 will be as easy, if not easier on hardware requirements than 7.

    Consequently there's no reason why you can't run the latest OS on your
    beautiful T60. :)

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Nov 28, 2011
  19. Makes sense, as long as the processor doesn't get too close to tolerance on
    Should've thought of that. :)
    If it has shared memory, though, would the video be able to make use of a
    whole gig?
    Sometimes, you can find good deals on memory. I'm assuming it's the usual
    SODIMM packaging for DDR2 laptop memory.
    I'd rather not think about wide-screen, even on a desktop display, but I'm
    going to have to, when this 4:3 Samsung 19" display quits. I don't want to
    think about Vista, myself. :) From what I've read, it's gotta be the
    "Millennium Edition" of the NT platforms.
    So, the video doesn't demand a share of system RAM? That's cool. I'd only
    have one DIMM to replace, then, if I ever get my mitts on one. I hate
    shared memory. It's just cheating. :)
    LOL! I know which one you prefer. :) But, I agree. I'd want the 15"
    screen, anyway, because I'm about as blind as a slightly gifted bat. For
    using it at home, I'd slap it on a docking station and hook monitor,
    keyboard, etc., up to that.
    Tom Rutherford, Nov 28, 2011
  20. davec

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Yup. Surprisingly the 'cut-off' temp (when the laptop BIOS will 'kill' the
    comp) for most of the ATI GPUs is around 95ÂșC. Even more surprising is that
    they can run close to that a lot of the time, usually much higher than the

    It's for this reason that I modify the heatsinks wherever possible so that
    they're more efficient. This is usually achieved by 'shimming' with copper
    sheet, then using Arctic Silver 5 between the shim and the 'sink, and the
    shim and the GPU. It can be a PITA to do but the benefits are worth it.

    I also use ATI Powerplay to reduce the clockspeed of the GPU as, for most
    tasks, it's more than enough at it's lowest setting. However unfortunately
    Powerplay doesn't undervolt the GPU on these older machines so merely
    reducing the clockspeed doesn't do as much as you might think.

    Finally GPU heat is the reason that I didn't recommend the 15" T60p as my
    ideal machine. It has a more powerful GPU (and more VRAM) and consequently
    runs considerably hotter. Unless the colling system is kept in perfect
    working order it's common for these machines to shut themselves down often
    due to excessively hot GPU.
    To be honest with you I had to go into debt to get my T60s. You see, while
    they might get a bit cheaper as time goes by chances are going to go up that
    you're going to buy a machine that's been.... less than pampered. The people
    who really look after their machines aren't likely to be selling them in a
    No. Sorry, I wasn't clear. The fourth GB isn't available to anything,
    anytime. It will show in BIOS but that's it. If your graphics is using
    shared memory it will have to take it from the 3GB that's available to the
    machine. Don't blame IBM, it was an Intel thing with that particular mobile
    It is indeed, and 1GB sticks can be had fairly cheaply. However 2GB sticks
    tend to be 4 x the price of the 1GB sticks, at least. (IME)
    Same here. I call them 'short screens'. Horrible, horrible things, I'm
    forever scrolling. I have two Dell 20" UXGA (1600x1200) 4:3 IPS desktop
    monitors that I hope will last me a good, long time. (One is only taken out
    and run for a half-day once every three months, to combat humidity. It's a
    I haven't ever and never will use Vista. You're right, amongst the IT folks
    it was known as ME 2.
    Well, there's a catch. ATI have a little system that started out at about
    this time that they call "Hyper-memory". The GPU will use it's dedicated
    128MB (in the case of the T60 X1400 GPU*) and, if it needs more, will then
    use system RAM up to a total of 512MB. (For this reason you often see T60s
    advertised as having 512MB VRAM as some utilities report that.) I've been
    banned by sellers at auction sites for pointing that out. :( It seems that
    truth is no defence.

    However, that said, this T60 with 3GB most-times has 2GB+ free (I have a
    little display in systray showing free RAM.) It's only when I have (for
    example) two instances of Firefox with 12+ tabs each, Thunderbird, Paint
    Shop Pro and Vuze (set to maximum RAM cache to reduce HDD read/writes) that
    it drops below that 2GB. Actually I've never seen it drop below 1GB free.
    Ever. And I'm a bit of a power-user. (XP Pro 32-bit.)
    I have mine in a docking station, attached to an IBM adjustable laptop
    stand, set to it's highest setting so that the beautiful FlexView screen is
    eye-level. However, by doing that I have to forgo the use of the brilliant
    IBM keyboard and instead have a USB keyboard in front of the stand (and
    mouse to the side).

    [*] T60s that use ATI GPUs come in the following configurations:

    X1300 / 64MB VRAM
    X1400 / 128MB VRAM <- Best option IMO
    FireGL V5200 / 256MB
    FireGL V5250 / 256MB

    Usually the 14" models use the X1300, the 15" the X1400 and the T60p uses
    one of the last two GPUs (run very hot). That said, as with all ThinkPads,
    there are exceptions.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Dec 1, 2011
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